MIT researcher looking into old solar PV technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers are looking to improve the efficiency of photovoltaic cells and apply them to cars by applying new materials and technologies to an old concept, thermophotovoltaic conversion of light into electricity.
The new TPV system would burn a little fuel to create super-bright light. Efficient photodiodes would then harvest the energy and send the electricity off to run the various lighting, electrical and electronic systems in the car.
The research is partly funded by Toyota and would mesh nicely with hybrid automobile technology, in which fuel is saved by shutting down the engine when the car is stopped. TPV-generated power might also be ideal for uses in remote places, distant from power lines, similar to what is being done now with solar collectors and fuel cells.